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Fermenting In A Corny Keg

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Doc

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I've heard a number of people who secondary in corny kegs.

I don't know of anyone who actually ferments in a corny keg, but when I found this picture this morning I saw a neat way of attaching an airlock.

Maybe if I had more kegs I could use them as fermenters also when others are fill. Depending on the beer being brewed cleaning the keg after fermentation maybe a bit more difficult.

Beers,
Doc

CornyFermentationLock1.jpg
 

slacka

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Maybe if I had more kegs I could use them as fermenters also when others are fill. Depending on the beer being brewed cleaning the keg after fermentation maybe a bit more difficult.

Beers,
Doc
I like it. Stainless fermenter for under $100. You may want to shorten your dip tube a little. Either that or attach some tubing to the end of it to raise the pickup out of the slurry.
Pop the air lock off after about 4 days and let it natural carbonate. Or use one of these
 

Ross

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That has to be a record - replying to a six year old post :)

cheers Ross
 

komodo

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bought out the big guns for it

 

gjhansford

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I'm resurrecting this thread on using cornys as primary fermenters to see if there's been any progess since the original post way back in 2003 and the minor revival in 2009!

Why ... well ... I was chatting to a brewer at the new Duckstein Brewery in Margaret River a couple of weeks ago and after describing my brewing system and plastic fermenter process I asked him what I could do to improve my pils and largers to get more of that genuine Euro taste and aroma.

After confirming that I use German grain, Euro hops and yeast and condition my water he said ... "ferment in stainless steel at low temperature - 8 degrees C - for a couple of weeks".

Well I can't afford a conical ... yet ... but I do have a number of cornys in my stockpile that I could experiment with in the meantime. So I was wondering if anyone has been using their spare cornys for primary fermentation ... and if so what has been their experience and their methods?

(I'm thinking of splitting a 30 litre batch between 2 cornys to give me headspace, adapting the gas-in to take a airlock, and shortening the pickups for transfer.)

Any thoughts or experience?

ghhb
 

Aus_Rider_22

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I have thought about this before but never went any further than that. Did a bit of a search, here is another thread elsewhere on fermenting in a Cornelius keg. http://www.realbeer.com/discussions/showth...ighlight=cornie

Another thread for interest http://bodensatz.com/upage/index.php?page=mike_a_kegs

You would have to modify your diptube if you were going to transfer via this way as the layer of trub/yeast on the bottom would cause problems and you would only get about 17L if that from your steel fermenter.

I would be interested to hear how people have done with this. I personally don't think I will be trying it. I have 2 fermentors and only 5 kegs so I don't want to be a keg down with a spare fermentor when there is no need.
 

gjhansford

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I have thought about this before but never went any further than that. Did a bit of a search, here is another thread elsewhere on fermenting in a Cornelius keg. http://www.realbeer.com/discussions/showth...ighlight=cornie

Another thread for interest http://bodensatz.com/upage/index.php?page=mike_a_kegs

You would have to modify your diptube if you were going to transfer via this way as the layer of trub/yeast on the bottom would cause problems and you would only get about 17L if that from your steel fermenter.

I would be interested to hear how people have done with this. I personally don't think I will be trying it. I have 2 fermentors and only 5 kegs so I don't want to be a keg down with a spare fermentor when there is no need.
Thanks for the links ... I have 24 kegs so that's not a big issue ... even with 8 taps there's always a couple spare. Others who do this (aparently it's big in the US) seem to bend up the end of the dip tube ... but maybe there's another way ...

Found a thread on another forum where the poster didn't modify the dip tube but, under pressure, started transferring the fermented beer and sucked off the trub/yeast first for reuse into a sanitised bottle. Once the flow became clear he stopped the transfer, hooked up his filter, and started again. It's like what the conical boys do ... I think?

I have all the bits so I might try this ... that way the corny can always go back to work as a serving keg!

ghhb
 

FNQ Bunyip

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assuming that you would end up with the same amount of trub/slurry at the end of fermentation , add the same volume to a keg and messure the depth ... then modifie / cut a dip tube to length...

or put a gas dip tube with some stiff hose/pipe on it to the right length inplace of your beer dip tube...

cheers
 

Supra-Jim

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Why not modify a 50 ltr commerical style keg that way you don't need to use two cornies? You could easily fit an adjustable racking tube to the side, same as the conical fermenters use. Might just need to carefully plan how to modify the top of the keg to allow easy cleaning, filling etc (if you have access to a tig and or someone with the skills, you could possibly adapt the lid off a damaged corny to make using a commerical keg a little more user friendly).

Just food for though.

Cheers SJ
 

Galamus

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I have actually done this now for the last 6 months, following the same idea of not being able to afford a conical but having excess kegs.

Pros of this method:
-Transfer without chance of infection (I primary and Secondary in Kegs)
-Fit 4 fermenters into an upright freezer (also makes crash chilling a breeze when neccessary)
-Stainless steel fermenter (for cheap)

Cons of this method
-have to cut back the dip tube
-have to ferment in smaller batches (though not a problem as I AG)

Cleaning has not been a problem as I simply use a CIP cleaner and am moving to hot caustic, I basically clean the fermenters the same way I clean my boiler.

Initially I tried to bend up the dip tube however I found cutting it to be much easier. My tube sits about 1" off the bottom and considering I often reuse the trub for yeast I don't find that I have too much beer loss.

Added Bonus: Sometimes when I feel lazy I just dump another beer on top of the trub without cleaning the keg out at all.

For an airlock I simply use a gas disconnect with a piece of pipe running into an airlock; with O ring grease the keg is generally sealed quite well.

If anyone has any questions or wants any more detail let me know.
 

MarkBastard

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If anyone has any questions or wants any more detail let me know.
Yeah I have a question, have you thought about doing them upside down? The liquid out tube could then work like a blowoff tube. The gas tube could become the tap. I reckon the gas tube would be the perfect length without modification.
 

Galamus

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Often cornies don't seal properly when not under pressure, I would be sceptical about leaving it upside down, though apart from those reasons I don't see why not. Though I could see it being significantly more messy.

Edit: Reread previous post
 

gjhansford

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I have actually done this now for the last 6 months, following the same idea of not being able to afford a conical but having excess kegs.

Initially I tried to bend up the dip tube however I found cutting it to be much easier. My tube sits about 1" off the bottom and considering I often reuse the trub for yeast I don't find that I have too much beer loss.

Thanks Galamus ... that's the kind of info I need ... about 25mm of the bottom of the diptube ... and thanks for the tip for the airlock ... I didn't really want to go hacking or drilling into my keg lids ...
 

argon

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Thanks for the links ... I have 24 kegs so that's not a big issue ... even with 8 taps there's always a couple spare. Others who do this (aparently it's big in the US) seem to bend up the end of the dip tube ... but maybe there's another way ...

Found a thread on another forum where the poster didn't modify the dip tube but, under pressure, started transferring the fermented beer and sucked off the trub/yeast first for reuse into a sanitised bottle. Once the flow became clear he stopped the transfer, hooked up his filter, and started again. It's like what the conical boys do ... I think?

I have all the bits so I might try this ... that way the corny can always go back to work as a serving keg!

ghhb

I reckon this is the best use of a corny for fermentation. At least for an experiment anyway. Being able to remove the trub first would be great. As soon as things run clear... run it through the filter or straight to the other keg.
 

Galamus

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A filter would probably be a good way to go, I think if you tried to do it that way without a filter you may mix more trub into your beer than cutting the dip tube. Particularly if the trub has had a long time to settle (semi-solid) you may entrain trub as the beer flows past it. Avoidable if one were to transfer very slowly (same applies with cut dip tube to a lesser degree).

Of course though it would be beneficial to not need to alter the keg at all and this would work as an experiment.
 

Galamus

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ghhb, be careful to not overfill the keg because if the krausen rises too much the airlock has the potential to get stuck, as it is a keg this will pressurise (less of a problem than a glass carboy, more of a problem than a plastic fermenter) If your airlock stops bubbling pull your pressure release and if there is pressure built up you may need to clean your disconnect. If the pipe is blocked you can always blast it with some CO2...

Hasn't been a problem for me thus far, just something to look out for.
 

gordo_t

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I was looking to move to a stainless fermenter soon (not conical, just the bucket style), but the idea of fermenting in a corny could be a goer and have been doing a bit of reading up on it. But I don't usually have any surplus kegs so i'd have to make a purchase. Rather than use a 19/20L corny I reckon I would be willing to purchase a new (or second hand) corny of the 25+ litre type capacity, as they would probably cost less than one of the stainless fermenters on the market, and if the idea failed 'no real biggy' I just use it as a serving keg as per normal.

Though, who sells the larger type corny kegs? (I hear they exist up to 10 Gallon apparently). I've so far only found them on the 'BrewMart' site, but they are all the way over in WA. postage would be a bit much.
 

br33zy

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Have you guys seen the approach Picobrew is taking?

Their system is based on a standard corny keg. The prepared wort ends up back in the keg, a special lid with airlock is fitted and fermentation takes place in the keg.

They recommend switching lids after fermentation and either bottling or gassing up - just blowing out the trub until the line runs clear.

Scroll towards the bottom of the link below to see a picture of the lid with airlock, then further down for a good summary of the process:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1708005089/picobrew-zymatic-the-automatic-beer-brewing-applia/description
 

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